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Breaking Down Golden Visa Eligibility In The UAE

Jan 26, 2024 | Legal

Understanding Golden Visa eligibility is crucial for anyone seeking long-term residency in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE Golden Visa program offers various benefits, including a renewable ten-year residency for diverse individuals such as investors, entrepreneurs, and those with unique talents. To attract and retain the crème de la crème of global talent and investment, the UAE’s inclusive approach opens doors to foreign nationals from any country who meet the program’s comprehensive criteria.

This initiative underscores the nation’s commitment to fostering a dynamic, innovative, and economically robust society by welcoming individuals who can contribute to the UAE’s growth and prosperity.

Who Can Apply For A Golden Visa

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has become a magnet for business, investment, and exceptional talent worldwide. The UAE Golden Visa offers a long-term residency option, a long-term residence visa valid for ten years, to a broad range of individuals. These include investors, entrepreneurs, and those with unique talents. This initiative aligns with the UAE’s strategic goal to foster an environment that attracts and retains top expertise and investment, bolstering its position as a global hub for innovation and economic growth.

Which countries are eligible for a UAE Golden Visa?

The UAE Golden Visa is open to foreign nationals from any country as long as they meet the specific criteria set by the UAE government. The Golden Residency program is designed to be inclusive, welcoming diverse talents and investors. Where you’re from isn’t a barrier to eligibility.

The Golden Visa is highly sought after for the numerous advantages it offers. As a residence visa holder, you’re allowed to live, work, or study in the UAE, and you’ll have access to high-quality healthcare and educational services. Plus, it’s easier for you to sponsor family members for their own residence visas, promoting family reunification.

Offering renewable ten-year residency, the Golden Visa ensures long-term stability for its beneficiaries. This feature has drawn considerable interest from expatriates eager for permanent residency in the UAE. The renewal policy reflects the UAE’s commitment to building lasting relationships with international talents and investors.

The program’s broad eligibility criteria and its extensive benefits are key in the UAE’s efforts to cement its status as a premier destination for global business and investment. By opening its doors to a diverse group of individuals, the UAE continues to enrich its multicultural and dynamic business environment.

Ministry Of Education UAE Website

What Are the New Rules for Golden Visa in UAE?

The UAE has updated its Golden Visa scheme to be more accommodating, now allowing recent graduates from the top 100 universities worldwide, as recognised by the UAE Ministry of Education, to apply. Eligible graduates must have completed their studies within the last two years and achieved a minimum 3.5 GPA.


The application process has been streamlined, with submissions accepted through the FAIC website or app, Customer Happiness Centres, and accredited typing offices. Applicants must provide a valid passport and a colour photograph. The fee for the visa is USD 95, which includes application, issuance, and electronic services.

Additional Benefits

Additional benefits for holders include the ability to sponsor family members and domestic workers, as well as receiving discounts on various services. Parental sponsorship is also possible, enhancing family stability for those looking to make the UAE their long-term home.

Who Can Apply?

The scope of eligible individuals has broadened to encompass a wider range of professionals and talents, including scientists, researchers, and skilled professionals. Those who have made notable contributions to humanitarian causes or served as frontline workers during emergencies may also qualify.

To assist holders with healthcare, the UAE now provides health insurance packages through the DHA, with premiums tailored to age and selected coverage.

In Abu Dhabi, the range of eligible individuals has grown to include top scholars, industry specialists, and experts in the health and education sectors, in addition to the general skilled professional category.

The scheme presents an opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs to own real estate and establish businesses in the UAE. Property purchases of at least USD 544,530 (AED 2 million) or investments of USD1,361,325 (AED 5 million) in a government-sanctioned project qualify investors. Entrepreneurs are required to generate a minimum of 10 jobs for UAE nationals and register their enterprise with the UAE Ministry of Economy.

Individuals with outstanding contributions in fields such as science, medicine, education, or sports must demonstrate significant achievements. Scientists are expected to hold a PhD and have published research. At the same time, skilled professionals should possess a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of five years of experience. Current full-time students in the UAE with a valid visa are also considered.

The scheme now also targets exceptional coders to support the UAE’s aspirations for a digital economy. These applicants must have a proven track record and hold a valid work visa.

Moreover, Abu Dhabi has introduced categories for retirees with a pension, affluent individuals with substantial assets, and relatives of investors or entrepreneurs who have made significant investments in the region.

Screenshot Of Happiness Centres

How To Check Your UAE Golden Visa Eligibility

ICP Website

You can utilise the ICP Smart Services online services to determine if you qualify for the Golden Visa. This visa is particularly attractive to a variety of professionals and investors, allowing them to own their business outright on the UAE mainland and enjoy the benefits of a 10-year residency that can be renewed.

You can express your interest or submit a nomination request through the ICP’s official portal or the ICP UAE Smart app. The portal includes a section specifically for Golden Visa services. The nomination request requires you to provide personal information and select the category under the golden visa categories for which you believe you qualify. A UID, which is given to anyone who enters the UAE, will be necessary for this process.


The criteria for eligibility are broad, encompassing a range of professionals and investors. For example, investors must have public investments of a minimum of USD 2,722,651(AED 10 million), which can be in various forms, including a deposit in a local investment fund, establishing a new company, or investing in an existing one. At least 60% of the total investment must be in non-real or real estate investors and sectors.

Specialised Talents

Specialised talents in fields such as medicine, science, software engineering, and the arts are also eligible, provided they have the appropriate accreditations and a valid employment contract in a priority field within the UAE. The Golden Visa extends its benefits to the holder’s family, one executive director, and one adviser and can include business partners, provided each partner meets the investment requirement.

Outstanding university students with the necessary academic achievements in specific scientific disciplines are also eligible. Their families can also benefit from the visa. The nomination process for students and other eligible individuals is initiated on the ICP website, with the outcome communicated via email.

After an Approved Nomination

Once a nomination is approved, applicants will receive instructions to submit the required documents for the visa. Residents in the UAE will be issued a temporary one-month visa to transition to a residency permit, while those outside will receive a six-month visa to enter and settle in the country. This temporary visa must be converted to a residency permit within the stipulated period.

For job seekers, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) provides work permits for Golden Visa holders. This applies to those who were not employed when receiving their visa and those intending to commence work with a new employer.

The ICP offers a comprehensive guide on the application procedures for the Golden Visa on its digital platforms. The process includes:

  • Submitting an application.
  • Entering the necessary information.
  • Attaching the required documents.
  • Paying the fees electronically.

The UAE continues to refine its visa offerings, with the Golden Visa playing a pivotal role in its strategy to enhance competitiveness and drive industrial growth. The UAE aims to attract and retain contributors to the nation’s development and prosperity by granting long-term residency to expatriates and their families.

Screenshot Of UAEICP App

Documents Required To Apply For A UAE Golden Visa

When preparing your application for a UAE Golden Visa, a variety of documents must be compiled and tailored to the specific category under which you are applying. Initially, an entry permit is required, facilitating multiple entries into the UAE over six months while your residency is finalised. This self-sponsored entry visa is particularly advantageous for individuals with significant assets or specialised skills.

The documentation required varies based on your professional or investment status. Investors need to demonstrate property ownership or investment in a business meeting certain financial criteria. Entrepreneurs should provide evidence of ownership or partnership in an SME or have a business concept endorsed by an approved local entity.

Professionals must present their academic credentials, proof of experience, and a current employment agreement within the UAE. They should fall within the top one or more properties two occupational levels as classified by the MOHRE and have a monthly salary of at least USD 8,170 (AED 30,000). For scientists and researchers, endorsements from the Emirates Scientists Council are necessary, along with advanced degrees in their field and a portfolio of significant research.

Outstanding students and individuals recognised for their humanitarian or frontline efforts must submit evidence of their accomplishments or accolades.

Applications can be initiated digitally or at an AMER Centre, with the entry permit being a prerequisite for the Golden Visa application. Due to the UAE’s non-membership in the Hague Convention, documents from abroad require authentication in both the country of origin and the UAE.

Fees for the Golden Visa vary based on the applicant’s location during application and include charges for a health assessment, Emirates ID, and health insurance, which differ in price.

Once all requirements are met and fees are settled, the GDRFA of the respective emirate processes the application, typically within 48 hours. However, if an endorsement or recommendation is needed, the evaluation may extend up to 30 days. Following approval, there may be an additional waiting period before the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship issues the visa.


What is the Minimum Salary for a Golden Visa?

For executive directors, a minimum monthly income of USD 13,615 (AED 50,000) is necessary to be considered for the Golden Visa.

Is it Difficult To Get a UAE Golden Visa?

The challenge in obtaining a Golden Visa lies in fulfilling the set prerequisites, which vary based on your area of expertise, financial investments, or academic accomplishments. For example, medical practitioners and engineers with the requisite qualifications and permits may be eligible. Individuals distinguished in creative or philanthropic, cultural, and artistic endeavours could also be suitable candidates. Documentation of your credentials, such as a recognised university diploma and a legitimate employment agreement, is essential. The Golden Visa aims to draw and support the contributions of highly skilled workers, investors, and outstanding scholars to the UAE’s societal and economic landscape.

Can I Get a Golden Visa if I Buy Property in Dubai?

Purchasing property in Dubai can indeed pave the way to Golden Visa eligibility. The investment must be in real estate valued at a minimum of USD 544,530 (AED 2 million) or an off-plan property of equivalent worth, with an upfront payment of no less than USD 272,265 (AED 1 million). The property should be procured from a sanctioned list of local developers. A Title Deed is required as evidence of ownership. If the property is financed, a bank statement confirming a payment of USD 544,530 (AED 2 million) is necessary. This investment route bolsters the UAE’s property sector while offering foreign investors the prospect of long-term residency.

What is the Age Limit for a Golden Visa in the UAE?

There is no age restriction for Golden Visa applicants, as the program prioritises qualifications over age. This inclusive approach encourages a wide demographic, from young scholars with exceptional academic records to experienced professionals and investors, to contribute to the UAE’s dynamic advancement.

Embracing Opportunities with the Golden Visa

The UAE Golden Visa stands as a beacon, guiding diverse talents and investors towards an enriching future within the vibrant landscapes of the Emirates. Whether you’re an investor, entrepreneur, professional, or exceptional student, this opportunity for long-term residency promises stability and growth. It cements your place in a society at the forefront of global innovation. The Golden Visa program is a testament to the UAE’s forward-thinking vision—an invitation to be part of a progressive, secure, and prosperous nation. If your aspirations align with the dynamic pulse of the UAE, the Golden Visa could be your gateway to turning ambition into reality, fostering connections and contributions that transcend borders.

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